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texaschief
01-15-2008, 07:00 PM
Herm must make the right call on offensive coordinator
By JOE POSNANSKI

This isn’t the world’s best time to be a Herm Edwards fan. I appreciate that. The Chiefs are coming off their worst season in 30 or so years. They scored a pathetic 226 points all year (70 points fewer than any Chiefs team since 1988). They finished the season with nine straight losses. And Edwards’ signature moment happened when he told the fans to get over it, which as far as I can tell is not a strategy in any of the earlier chapters of that How to Win Friends and Influence People book.
Edwards did apologize for the comment a week later — it should be a Coors commercial any day now.

Still, I like the guy. He has taken four teams to the playoffs. He has won playoff games. His players, it appears, play hard for him. He seems to have a good sense for talent. He’s passionate and emotional and funny and confident. It seems to me you could do a whole lot worse when trying to rebuild a football team.

And, let’s be fair: Edwards was put in a ridiculous situation. He was asked to win right away, but he was given a decrepit team that had missed the playoffs seven out of eight years. How bad a situation was it? Put it this way: Hall of Fame coach John Madden and Hall of Fame owner Al Davis used to argue about what was the most important position for a football team after the quarterback. Madden thought it was an offensive lineman. Davis thought it was a cornerback. They fought about this all the time.

Well, there was no argument in Kansas City. The Chiefs had an ancient quarterback who in his first game got knocked unconscious for 10 minutes. They had two cornerbacks who started playing before Vaudeville. They had an offensive line slightly older than the cast for “The Bucket List” — heck, their best lineman retired before the first practice. Edwards managed to squeak into the playoffs the first season and go 4-12 the next. No, it’s not great. I’m not sure Paul Brown would have done a lot better.

Anyway, none of it matters now. Edwards will be back next season. He is building this football team. And that’s why everybody should be watching very closely over the next few days as Edwards (with input, presumably, from Chiefs poobah Carl Peterson) makes his choice for offensive coordinator.

This is a crucial decision for Edwards — his most important as Chiefs coach. He is not only trying to build a team for the next couple of seasons. He also tries to build some sort of optimism and momentum for this offseason. It’s bad out there. It’s hard to find anyone — and I’m including Chiefs players — who believes this team is on the right track. The team finished the year miserably. They’re unsettled at quarterback. Franchise player Larry Johnson missed the last eight games because of a foot injury that nobody wants to talk about. The offensive line is in shambles, the secondary, too, special teams, too.

One Chiefs player says: “Nobody really thinks this is a one-year fix. This is going to take a while, and nobody’s too happy about that.”

And another: “A lot of us believe in Herm, but we are talking about major surgery here. I don’t even know where he starts.”

And a third: “Let’s face facts — we were one of the five worst teams in football this year. That’s not what we’re used to around here. And I don’t know how people around here are going to react.”

This is a different offseason experience. The Chiefs’ record the last decade has been well-documented — two playoff appearances, zero playoff wins, five losing records, etc. — but Peterson always managed to give fans a reason to hope. A new coach. A new quarterback. A new system. Something. Now, it’s gloom, and that’s why it’s so important for Edwards to choose an offensive coordinator that will help everybody — from players to fans — feel a little bit of excitement about this team.

And it needs to be said: Edwards and Peterson already blew this call once. They went with offensive-line coach Mike Solari, no doubt in an effort to keep some offensive continuity going. But Solari (an excellent offensive-line coach) was all wrong. He had never called plays in the NFL. He was not a strong personality. He was not, as one Chiefs player said, a “chess player. He didn’t even seem to like calling plays.”

It seems to me that Edwards needs the opposite of Solari. Edwards has a great feel for defense and for building a team together, but he needs a strong and imaginative offensive coordinator, someone who will take charge, someone who will impose his will. And when you looked at some of the names that emerged early on — Paul Hackett, Mike Shula, Eric Price — you could not feel too encouraged.

Edwards has apparently talked with former head coaches Chan Gailey and Jim Fassel, neither especially electrifying choices, but they could work, maybe.

There are a bunch of big-time offensive coordinators out there. The Chiefs and Edwards should be sending flowers to Cam Cameron’s house every day. Here’s a guy who built that San Diego offense that would look perfect in Kansas City. The Chargers were built around a great running back and a great tight end, two things the Chiefs seem to have.

Of course, lots of teams are going after Cameron — the hot rumor is that he might end up in Baltimore with Marty Schottenheimer. That’s OK. There are other successful big-name offensive coaches out there. Brian Billick is out there. Al Saunders is out there, though there’s probably just too much history there. Mike Mularkey is out there — from afar, he would be my choice. He built that great power offense in Pittsburgh, exactly what Edwards wants. And there have to be some young geniuses out there as well.

It would be good to see Edwards land a big-time and strong-willed offensive coach and give him the keys to the offense. This team needs some good news. He needs some good press. I like Edwards a lot.

If he hires Paul Hackett or anyone like that, he’s on his own.


There isn't one thing said in this article i disagree with. INCLUDING that last line.

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He's right, there are WAY too many names out there to get stuck with one of these rumored guys. I like Cameron, Billick, and Mularky. I think Saunders would be too bitter to come back after being passed over for the HC position after Dick left. Plus, his system is FAR TOO complicated for youngers players. Hell, I'd even take a look at Norm Chow. His offensive system just doesn't work for mobile QBs like Vince Young. But his offense has done wonders at USC with pocket QBs like Lienart and Palmer.

hermhater
01-15-2008, 07:09 PM
Don't worry, Herm will hire one of his cronies, and make sure he runs on first down every time.

I have no doubt about it.

IlovetheChiefs
01-15-2008, 07:14 PM
I was just reading this very column.

Chan Gailey is one I don't want to come here. And yes he's right we need someone the opposite of Solari.

Depressing sentiments about no one really thinking this is a 1 year fix and that major surgery is needed. But we'll see. Have to hope a good OC is selected and we pick good in the draft. A healthy LJ next year will be big. And how Croyle performs and matures is a big thing too (of course he needs the line improved if he's going to have a chance at his full potential).

AkChief49
01-15-2008, 07:29 PM
any thoughts on Norm Chow?

texaschief
01-15-2008, 07:38 PM
I know we kept our QB coach. I also think i heard somewhere that we're keeping Solari on staff. But, there IS guy out there who i think is an "up and coming" offensive coach who i think could contribute to the offense while growing into an offensive coordinator and perhaps a future head coach.

Major Applewhite.

He's was the OC at Alabama last year and rumors have him going back to Texas who have a vacancy at OC themselves.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=maisel_ivan&id=2902665

You can learn more about him at firemajorapplewhite.com (i know it's a weird site name)

I realize this isn't a serious option for OC, but hiring him as the RB coach or QB coach could be a great place for him. It all depends on his aspirations as a football coach. It would also require some creativity and foresight on the Chiefs part, which hasn't been Carl's strong suit.

oh, btw....he's only 28.

Canada
01-15-2008, 08:13 PM
I was just reading this very column.

Chan Gailey is one I don't want to come here. And yes he's right we need someone the opposite of Solari.

Depressing sentiments about no one really thinking this is a 1 year fix and that major surgery is needed. But we'll see. Have to hope a good OC is selected and we pick good in the draft. A healthy LJ next year will be big. And how Croyle performs and matures is a big thing too (of course he needs the line improved if he's going to have a chance at his full potential).

Going into year three now, we should be getting excited. I know I will be come kick off next season.

CHIEFS_FN_ROCK
01-15-2008, 11:57 PM
Going into year three now, we should be getting excited. I know I will be come kick off next season.
8 months til preseason and it cant get here fast enough!!

hermhater
01-16-2008, 12:15 AM
8 months til preseason and it cant get here fast enough!!

What's the day number count Canada? :yahoo:

Canada
01-16-2008, 01:07 AM
It's after midnight so 238

hermhater
01-16-2008, 01:12 AM
It's after midnight so 238

It's 11:12 PM in Chiefs country!

Canada
01-16-2008, 01:14 AM
It's 11:12 PM in Chiefs country!

then the season is closer for me!!

hermhater
01-16-2008, 01:46 AM
then the season is closer for me!!

Touche!

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